Proverbs 18:21 “Your tongue holds the power of life and death…”
Have you ever stopped to think about the kind of power your tongue holds? In a word, it is amazing. With our tongue, we can urge someone to pursue their grandest dreams, encourage someone who is discouraged, save a life by telling someone what they have to live for, and change the course of a person’s entire life.
“I can live for a day on a meal, but I can live for two months on a complement,” Mark Twain.
Our words can also do the same damage: stop someone from pursuing their dreams forever, break someone’s heart, or rob someone of their self value. You can ruin a great day, shatter confidence or change moods from good to bad with negative words.
I’ve heard it said that it takes 10 positive things said to a person to overcome 1 negative thing. That sounds about right to me. I can still tell you some very negative things that were said to/about me from as far back as 6th grade. Though I do enjoy complements, I don’t know that I could articulate the last time someone gave me an oral complement. It’s not from a lack of people who give me complements, either.
Having said all that, I challenge you to think about your words. How are you using them, to build people up, or to tear them down. You have the power to do both. That is true power, the ability to build people or break people.